There truly is something to be appreciated when it comes to death, not so much the act of a person dying no, more the asthetic of one's purity when life ceases to exist leaving behind all physical restraints and inhibitions behind..
I own the leading Funeral home in my county, it used to be a family business but due to work constraints my home life became a casualty i couldn't resurrect..sorry a little Mortician humour there. My wife and eldest child both entered the family business and for five long years we built a very successful and highly recommended Funeral Parlour dedicated to putting the families needs first and looking after all the details, allowing grief to takes its course.
I remember visiting a Funeral Parlour when i was a child, to see my Grandmother who had recently passed away, it reminded me of a Dental practice, so clinical and cold. The waiting area might as well have been littered with trend magazines and had one of the local radio stations piped in through the speakers, maybe even have an overly loud receptionist taking personal calls in the background. When i bought this place i knew exactly how i wanted it.
When you enter you are met by a homely foyer area, deep red carpets and an off Oak wall finish, with dim lit lights leads you through to where you are greeted by me personally, all visitations are by appointment only to ensure im here. You will never see me out of full three piece suit, the only trinket i have in sight is the gold chain attached to my pocket watch that resides in my breast pocket at all times. This shows a level of respect i have for my guests, living and deceased alike.
Today's guests are the Silverton family, recently widowed husband, Mr Alexander Silverton, his eldest daughter Katrina Silverton and his eldest son Patrick Silverton. They will be here to organise the details of their wife and mothers funeral arrangements and for a thirty minute viewing of the deceased. Speaking of proceedings, its time for me to arrange the deceased.
Heading down to the preperation room i rearrange my tie that had become askew, entering, i switch on the light. Flickering into life the strip lights across the room illuminate everything with a healthy white glow. My pristine instruments i lovingly work with sparkling on the green fabric sheet placed over the little table next to the preperation slab.
Lay on the table was Mrs Silverton I had left her there this morning, she looked as beautiful as i remembered. I'd be lying if i hadn't been thinking about her the entire time i was explainiing to her husband the day's proceedings and what exactly was involved. Like those crushes you had back in school, you know the ones where your stomache does a flip as you enter the classroom and set your eyes upon your crush, my intestines were in knots as i approached from behind.
"Hello my love...., did you miss me?" With the tips of my fingers i gently run my right hand up her tracing the dimples of her spine up the back of her neck, her skin is so smooth not to mention ice cold.
Of course, she doesn't answer, but im used to filling in their parts of the conversation it almost comes naturally now, spending so long down here alone you develop...habits.
"You're husband sure was a lucky man....I know i know i have you now but our time is never long enough..... Yes i appreciate you allowing me to........yes yes i will i will i wont waste anymore time sheesh you are a bossy lady aren't you......well i'm not one to deny a woman what she wants" With the back of my hand i caress her cheek as i reach to my instrument table with the other hand.
Picking up the scalpal i lay her on her back, i chase the lines of her body with the blade, across her collarbone, down her breastbone and along the ribs. With precise cuts i've mastered over my year's as a mortician i remove my trophies with relative ease. Her lungs as she took my breath away when i first saw her. Her eyes, the deepest blue deep enough for me to dive in to and never resurface. Her lips, cold to the kiss but promised to keep sealed our little tryst and finally, her heart as she no longer needs her as she has mine.
I worship every inch of her body, memorising the time we have together, as i sew up any traces of our time together i clothe and clean her. An unexpected knock at the door..
"Hello....? Is....anyone down here, sorry the front door was open, my car's broken down can anybody help?" A young woman enters the preperation room, she let out a gasp at the sight of Mr's Silverton's eyeless body, looking in her direction.
"Oh hi there, sorry if she startles you I'm mid way through prepping the deceased" I say with a smile, I'd quietly worked my way behind her, positioning myself between her and the door conveniently.
"It's ok, I just wasn't expecting to...see...someone..not living.. down here" She nervously toys with her car keys palmed in her right hand, periodically passing them back and forth to her left hand.
Her tight thin low V neck T-shirt gave away the quick succession rise and falls of her chest as she continued to calm her breathing, i offered her a drink.
Its amazing how much she looks like a younger...vibrant...Mr's Silverton. When she entered, the way her flowing hair reminded me of the waves lazily crashing against the shore, i had to have it. The way the light emanating from the trip lights bounced off her youthful inexperienced eyes, i had to have them. How her excitable heart beat so hard as if it were trying to escape her chest, I had to take it.
Mr's Silverton, as a parting gift, kept the young ladies gaze transfixed as i gently picked up my scalpal, closing in on her from behind.
"My love...., i do enjoy our games, Let's get down to business"
The confusion on the woman's face contorting to terror as her eye's meet the glint of the scalpal i have in hand.
Buying a house, did an asbestos test on the popcorn ceiling we want to remove and it came back with 5% Chrysotile. I believe I can suit up, mask up, tent up the room, do it the right away, and easily remove this ceiling - something my wife and I have always thought we needed to do for cosmetic reasons. Am I crazy to still think I can do this?
When I was 8, my family moved into an old Colonial that was built in 1810. My father still lives there. Until I was 17, every before I feel asleep, I would feel pressure next to me as if someone sat down on the bed next to me. This would always be accompanied with a feeling of increased pressure in the air. Although I knew this probably didn't happen to everyone, I didn't think about it much.
Until I got a cat. He was a present for my twelfth birthday. Each night, he would sack out on the bed near my feet. Each night, he would bolt from a dead sleep and glare at something in the doorway before hightailing it out of there. A few moments later, the pressure would return.
Again, while this was a weird thing to happen, I didn't really question it. Maybe the cat was just neurotic. I didn't talk about this nightly occurrence to anyone. However, I did refer this feeling/presence/what have you as "Charlotte." I don't know why.
So one day in the summer when I was thirteen, an elderly man and his middle-aged daughter pull up to our house and explain that the father lived in the house with his aunt while he was a boy and that he raised his family there for a few years. They had been visiting family in the neighborhood, and they wondered if they could take a tour for old times' sake. My mom said sure. She, my sister and I led them around the house, and they recalled different memories.
Afterward, my mom asked them if they remembered strange occurrences or stories about the house. "Like ghosts?" the old man asked and chuckled. His daughter became very quiet and said firmly, "It's not funny, Dad." The man explained that everyone who slept in one bedroom felt a little unsettled, and his daughter interrupted to say that she always felt as if someone sat on the edge of the bed and she tried to go to sleep. Her father said they used to joke that it was just his aunt looking out for them—his Aunt Charlotte.
This confirmed what I had never admitted to myself. I had a freaking ghost that basically tucked me in at night for the previous five years.
Still, going to bed was never freaky or scary. I just tried to ignore the feeling when it came.
Until one night when I was 16. My parents had been going through a weird patch in their marriage, I was feeling depressed, and in general, it was a weird year. I went to bed; after about 20 minutes the cat took his typical bolting exit from the bed, and I felt the familiar pressure on my side.
Then I felt a hand brush through my hair.
Then I ran straight downstairs to the living room where my mom was dozing. She woke up when I burst in the room, saw my face, and asked what was wrong. I told her I had a nightmare and left it at that.
I spent a week sleeping in the guest room. When I got the nerve to go back to my room, I was nearly asleep when I realized I didn't feel the pressure next to me. I did feel pressure in the air. I rolled on my back and saw the figure of a woman in her 60s, wearing a housedress, her hair pulled back in a bun, with her arms folded. She was looking right at me, very concerned. When I found my voice, she disappeared. I said out loud, "I don't care if you stay, but I can NEVER, EVER, EVER see you again." I never did.
However a few years later, after my parents divorced and my dad moved in his girlfriend and her 4 year old son, I wasn't really surprised when she told me her little boy said a lady named Charlotte told him stories at night.